In Memory of Chi-Chi's

Post
Pumbaa
Junior Burger
2006/03/14 23:40:11
I worked there on and off during high school and college for 2 years. It was still my favorite restaurant. my sister and i both worked there for a while. We'd work until midnight on Saturday, go there for lunch on Sunday after church, and THEN go back in for a shift that Sunday afternoon.

I have nothing but fantastic memories of Chi-Chi's . I couldn't ask for a better first job. My managers and co-workers were fantastic. We were the most popular restaurant in town and worked our tails off. For me at least, it was a real labor of love.

I was completely devastated to hear of the closings. After digging on the internet, it seems there are still at least 2 Chi-Chi's : one in Kuwait (really!!) and one in Belgium.

Are there any sites that serve as memorials for Chi-Chi's? There should be a place where ex-employees and fans come together .

I was a cook. I still have all of the recipes. Even though I don't have the Chi-Chi's spice packets or Chi-Chi's vanilla ice cream, I can duplicate the dishes very well. (I did sign a form saying I wouldn't compete with Chi-Chi's or reveal their secrets. Now that it's gone, I wonder if that promise has expired too.)

Chi-Chi's was a phenomenon. It deserves a proper tribute. Can someone tell me if there are sites or groups related to Chi-Chi's memories?? If not, I'll make my own website.

Wes Fowler
Linecook
Dixie #18
Bashford Manor #45

"Chi-Chi's: A Celebration of Food!"
stevencarry
Cheeseburger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/03/14 23:53:32
What killed Chi Chi's and was it the place (just guessing) that some tainted cilantro was sitting a while getting worse and made some people sick. I am thinking Pitts PA but maybe not.
BuddyRoadhouse
Filet Mignon
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/03/15 00:17:47
Not sure about the exact location, but those were the general circumstances. I believe there was some e coli involved.

Now THAT'S the best burrito ever!

Buddy
mr chips
Filet Mignon
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/03/16 03:36:50
The only thing I liked about Chi-Chi's was that former Green Bay Packer wide receiver Max McGee was a big investor.
V960
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/03/16 18:26:18
The Chi-Chi's in Charlotte (actually Matthews) on hwy 74 was horrible. I worked a mile away and ate the once in five years...the whole engineering staff spent the afternoon in the head and missed the next day sitting in their home bathrooms. We actually posted a notice that no one was to eat at the place.

Company filed suit and won a few bucks for lost time. Seems they had a history and simply settled. Glad to see them gone.
rstank
Junior Burger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/03/16 18:35:51
I am living in Brussels right now, actually, and I walk by the Chi-Chi's you mentioned every morning on the way to the Metro. Word has it that it is terrible, and overpriced... which is a shame because (a) I have fond memories of Chi-Chi's from childhood too, and (b) I could KILL for some good Mexican over here.
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/03/16 18:36:37

It was scallions (green onions) not cilantro, but the rest is pretty accurate. Thre are multiple threads in the archieves about the demise of this chain operation.
AndreaB
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/03/18 10:50:39
The Chi-Chi's in Lexington, KY, did a booming business when it first came to town and was always packed, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. I ate there many times as a teenager.
Prior to it closing, it had become a mere shell of its former self
as new Mexican restaurants came to town. I'm sure those tainted green onions didn't help either.

Andrea
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/03/18 11:04:50
quote:
Originally posted by AndreaB

The Chi-Chi's in Lexington, KY, did a booming business when it first came to town and was always packed, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. I ate there many times as a teenager.
Prior to it closing, it had become a mere shell of its former self
as new Mexican restaurants came to town. I'm sure those tainted green onions didn't help either.

Andrea


Andrea: You are right about the Chi-Chui's in Lexington. I think I first ate there around 1980 and it was busy. Too bad they went so far downhill.

I think the one in Lexington was located right off New Circle Rd.???

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
Gizmolito
Cheeseburger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/03/19 09:54:33
When our local Chi Chi's died, the concensus opinion was that the competition from the many new independent places owned and run by real Mexicans did them in. So Chi Chi's, the corporate franchise chain, sat empty on high priced Mall property for several years.

Cut to the Present: the Chi Chi's building is being demolished, to be replaced by a NEW restaurant. Its Name? On The Border Mexican Grill and Cantina, the franchise corporate chain that brings us Chili's.

Those independent real Mexican places are still here. We'll see if they fit that definition of insanity: repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different result!
Adjudicator
Sirloin
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/03/19 12:01:26
"Those independent real Mexican places are still here. We'll see if they fit that definition of insanity: repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different result!"

Oh. Sorry... I now see that you said "repeating". At 1st glance I read that as "reheating".

Kitty Ritter
Junior Burger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/03/19 12:07:00
If you want real Mexican food, why would you go to Chi-Chi's? Chain restaurants are the worse.
AndreaB
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/03/20 11:29:13
quote:
Originally posted by Sundancer7

quote:
Originally posted by AndreaB

The Chi-Chi's in Lexington, KY, did a booming business when it first came to town and was always packed, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. I ate there many times as a teenager.
Prior to it closing, it had become a mere shell of its former self
as new Mexican restaurants came to town. I'm sure those tainted green onions didn't help either.

Andrea


Andrea: You are right about the Chi-Chui's in Lexington. I think I first ate there around 1980 and it was busy. Too bad they went so far downhill.

I think the one in Lexington was located right off New Circle Rd.???

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN


Yah Paul, it was right off the New Circle Rd. exit onto Nicholasville Road and across from the Fayette Mall. There used to be a Darryl's across the street from it that was also very popular.

Andrea
baughman
Cheeseburger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/04/23 07:59:10
I didnt realize all the Chi Chis in the Us had closed . Man I am out of the loop. Use to eat at one in Toledo ohio all the time in college in late 80s early 90s. all my buddys would go for the buffet. Never went for a regular meal just for buffets. When I moved to Middletown ohio in early 90s there was a chi chis for like 4 months then it closed and became a Frickers( good sports bar).
MandalayVA
Cheeseburger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/04/23 15:30:58
I used to eat at the Chi Chi's in East Brunswick, NJ. Fried ice cream, what a novelty. Mexican food, however, is getting to be like Italian where there seems to be more independent restaurants than chains.
WVHillbilly
Cheeseburger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/04/23 17:55:40
Chi-chi's. . . yuck. Went there a number of times with groups or because some woman talked me into it. . . you know, they whine and plead and ya got no choice. . . It was always poor quality quasi-Mexican food.
Ort. Carlton.
Filet Mignon
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/04/23 20:53:42
Dearfolk,
They must not have been too chi-chi, then.
Out Of Step And Proud Of It, Ort. Carlton in Unusual Athens, Georgia.
enginecapt
Filet Mignon
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/04/24 03:50:44
quote:
Originally posted by MandalayVA
Mexican food, however, is getting to be like Italian where there seems to be more independent restaurants than chains.
HOORAY!!!
saps
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/04/24 12:40:05
Here's a Chi-Chi's memory:

Lying on the floor with glazed eyes and a stomach feeling like the "chestburster" from the Alien movies just popped out of it, next to a john filled with dinner from two-hours earlier.

The place deserved to die- And I hope it burns in hell.
Adjudicator
Sirloin
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/04/24 12:49:20
"...next to a john filled with dinner from two-hours earlier."

Somehow I believe ETOH may have been involved. Yes?



"And I hope it burns in hell"

Maybe something else was burning???

saps
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/04/24 13:19:59
No ETOH that night.

And yes, "fire in the hole".
abe_froeman
Double Cheeseburger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/05/15 23:12:20
That place was awful- no one in their right mind should be mourning the loss of it! If you worked there and have some sentimental feelings of it, that's one thing, but anyone who contends that it was good should see a doctor. Taco Bell has more authentic Mexican food and I've never gotten sick off of them!
roossy90
Sirloin
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/05/15 23:40:00
quote:
Originally posted by saps

Here's a Chi-Chi's memory:

Lying on the floor with glazed eyes and a stomach feeling like the "chestburster" from the Alien movies just popped out of it, next to a john filled with dinner from two-hours earlier.

The place deserved to die- And I hope it burns in hell.



HA HA.. that is a funny post, Saps!
V960
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/05/16 09:09:00
Chi Chi's was about as Mexican as the McRib sandwich is BBQ. Glad someone had a good experience working there but I for one am glad to see them gone. And the buildings are so tacky they just get torn down unless the rent goes to the bottom.
salsailsa
Cheeseburger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/05/16 09:56:08
quote:
Originally posted by saps

Here's a Chi-Chi's memory:

Lying on the floor with glazed eyes and a stomach feeling like the "chestburster" from the Alien movies just popped out of it, next to a john filled with dinner from two-hours earlier.

The place deserved to die- And I hope it burns in hell.


LOL! Now I remember the place.
Pigiron
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/05/16 10:28:35
quote:
Originally posted by Pumbaa[/]
Chi-Chi's was a phenomenon. It deserves a proper tribute. Can someone tell me if there are sites or groups related to Chi-Chi's memories?? If not, I'll make my own website.


Nothing personal, of course, but of all the things to pay tribute to in this world, I cannot imagine anyone spending time and money in celebration of Chi-Chi's.
WVHillbilly
Cheeseburger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/05/16 12:46:49
I just remembered, the local "Chi-chis" was next to the local "Hooters."
WTF is wrong with people who go to those places?
Must be a real bunch of boobs.
enginecapt
Filet Mignon
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/05/16 21:17:30
quote:
Originally posted by WVHillbilly
I just remembered, the local "Chi-chis" was next to the local "Hooters."
Must be a real bunch of boobs.
Musn't. Take. Bait. Must. Be. Strong.
BigboyDan
Junior Burger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/05/17 20:30:48
There is still a Chi-Chi's in Paris:


27, Blvd. des Italiens
75002, PARIS
cuisine: Amer-TexMex
011 (+33) 01 42 66 09 57
Greymo
Filet Mignon
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/05/17 20:48:22
The most amazing part of this whole forum is that no one has yet to send it to "chains" where such a "garbage restaurant" should be" />
V960
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/05/18 08:24:38
Let me get this straight...I'm going to Europe and eat at a Chi-Chi's? Gonna get real cold under foot before that happens.
juliemoose
Junior Burger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/05/26 16:42:40
My sister-in-law went to a Chi Chi's in or near Lancaser, PA. As she was eating, a piece of the ceiling fell down and hit her in the head. As she was inclined to do, she immediately fell out of her chair, clutching her head and neck. Now, a ceiling should never fall on a patron as they are eating, but I must admit that I was pleased that they closed and went bankrupt before they ever had to pay her any settlement, since she's sued many people in the past for accidents in which she wasn't hurt. She complained of headaches right up to the point where there was no hope of getting any money out of them, and then miraculously was healed!
Jennie
Cheeseburger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2006/05/27 23:29:20
Oh, dear! Well, we didn't sue, but my husband once found a broken-off toothpick complete with frilly plastic attached in his chimichanga once. This was in Springfield, VA. We both got free meals. He had, after all, found it in his mouth. " />

On the other hand, I used to love the one in Timonium, Maryland, north of Baltimore. Years ago, in the 1970s and early 80s, it was a gardening store. There was a central pyramidal-roof hub with flanking smaller wings of the same shape, with sloping walls. It looked perfect! They didn't have to rebuild much at all. Just parged the walls and it looked great! What I loved best were "Special Beef Chimichangas," which were their beef brisket. Unfortunately, they eventually took that option off the menu, presumably because the meat was more expensive. However, friends of mine who worked there told me they still had the brisket, because it was a necessary ingredient in Diablo sauce.

Ah well. Now I make the meat in my crock pot and fry up Chimis in my DeLonghi.
chichiex
Junior Burger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2007/04/16 19:27:32
I would like the recipes for their original regular chili (tex mex chili, and their black bean chili...as a matter of fact I too am a lover of the old chi-chi recipes and would love to make these. Any you are willing to share. You can email me at cincooks@msn.com
thanks
quote:
Originally posted by Pumbaa

I worked there on and off during high school and college for 2 years. It was still my favorite restaurant. my sister and i both worked there for a while. We'd work until midnight on Saturday, go there for lunch on Sunday after church, and THEN go back in for a shift that Sunday afternoon.

I have nothing but fantastic memories of Chi-Chi's . I couldn't ask for a better first job. My managers and co-workers were fantastic. We were the most popular restaurant in town and worked our tails off. For me at least, it was a real labor of love.

I was completely devastated to hear of the closings. After digging on the internet, it seems there are still at least 2 Chi-Chi's : one in Kuwait (really!!) and one in Belgium.

Are there any sites that serve as memorials for Chi-Chi's? There should be a place where ex-employees and fans come together .

I was a cook. I still have all of the recipes. Even though I don't have the Chi-Chi's spice packets or Chi-Chi's vanilla ice cream, I can duplicate the dishes very well. (I did sign a form saying I wouldn't compete with Chi-Chi's or reveal their secrets. Now that it's gone, I wonder if that promise has expired too.)

Chi-Chi's was a phenomenon. It deserves a proper tribute. Can someone tell me if there are sites or groups related to Chi-Chi's memories?? If not, I'll make my own website.

Wes Fowler
Linecook
Dixie #18
Bashford Manor #45

"Chi-Chi's: A Celebration of Food!"
V960
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2007/05/17 11:37:30
Chi-Chis was an upscale Taco Bell...the booths had padding.
Littlelamb
Junior Burger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2007/08/22 04:00:37
quote:
Originally posted by Pumbaa

I worked there on and off during high school and college for 2 years. It was still my favorite restaurant. my sister and i both worked there for a while. We'd work until midnight on Saturday, go there for lunch on Sunday after church, and THEN go back in for a shift that Sunday afternoon.

I have nothing but fantastic memories of Chi-Chi's . I couldn't ask for a better first job. My managers and co-workers were fantastic. We were the most popular restaurant in town and worked our tails off. For me at least, it was a real labor of love.

I was completely devastated to hear of the closings. After digging on the internet, it seems there are still at least 2 Chi-Chi's : one in Kuwait (really!!) and one in Belgium.

Are there any sites that serve as memorials for Chi-Chi's? There should be a place where ex-employees and fans come together .

I was a cook. I still have all of the recipes. Even though I don't have the Chi-Chi's spice packets or Chi-Chi's vanilla ice cream, I can duplicate the dishes very well. (I did sign a form saying I wouldn't compete with Chi-Chi's or reveal their secrets. Now that it's gone, I wonder if that promise has expired too.)

Chi-Chi's was a phenomenon. It deserves a proper tribute. Can someone tell me if there are sites or groups related to Chi-Chi's memories?? If not, I'll make my own website.

Wes Fowler
Linecook
Dixie #18
Bashford Manor #45

"Chi-Chi's: A Celebration of Food!"
njbull
Junior Burger
Re:In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2012/03/14 12:19:58
gee, 6 years later and people are still reading your post, the wonders of the internet. lol
 
i was chatting with my wife who used to work at chichis years ago about the place, then looked up local locations only to find out they closed in 2004, guess i wasnt that loyal of a customer, lol regardless, i stumbled across a website, have been obsessed lately with everything chichi related since. do you still have acess to your menus or recipes?
 
sorry if this seems random, i have a lot of spare time here at work ,lol

and thanks if you ever get this, lol
 
scrumptiouschef
Double Cheeseburger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2012/03/18 11:55:57
Sundancer7

[id="quote"]quote: Originally posted by AndreaB

The Chi-Chi's in Lexington, KY, did a booming business when it first came to town and was always packed, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. I ate there many times as a teenager.
Prior to it closing, it had become a mere shell of its former self
as new Mexican restaurants came to town. I'm sure those tainted green onions didn't help either.

Andrea


Andrea: You are right about the Chi-Chui's in Lexington. I think I first ate there around 1980 and it was busy. Too bad they went so far downhill.

I think the one in Lexington was located right off New Circle Rd.???

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

 
I used to eat at that Chi Chi's when I was little kid. Loved the chimichanga smothered in queso. Tumbleweeds was another good Mexican spot in Lexington.
 
Recently I visited Lexington to see my sister and we went to La Favorita, a taqueria inside a little Mexican grocery store. It could open up out here in Austin and make good money. Real deal Mexican food.
 
http://www.tripadvisor.co...exington_Kentucky.html
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2012/07/17 19:13:22
Chi-Chi's was based in Louisville and the store in town and the one in Clarksville, IN just across the River, used to be a training ground for Manager trainees/ Back in the early 80's we held College staff meetings in one of their dining rooms on a monthly basis...Plenty of Margaritas, Fried ice Cream and other faux=Mex food that--at the time-- was pretty good--. The place billed the College for X Number of meals, No mention of the "Extras", so we did imbibe a bit more than normal !! They sure went downhill in the 90's though.  I am suprised to see the Chi-Chi's salsa on the shelf at Wally World, I wonder where it's connection to the old restaurant chain remains.
post edited by mayor al - 2012/07/17 19:22:22
IntelligentT82
Cheeseburger
RE: In Memory of Chi-Chi's 2012/07/21 15:02:50
scrumptiouschef

Sundancer7

[id="quote"]quote: Originally posted by AndreaB

The Chi-Chi's in Lexington, KY, did a booming business when it first came to town and was always packed, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. I ate there many times as a teenager.
Prior to it closing, it had become a mere shell of its former self
as new Mexican restaurants came to town. I'm sure those tainted green onions didn't help either.

Andrea


Andrea: You are right about the Chi-Chui's in Lexington. I think I first ate there around 1980 and it was busy. Too bad they went so far downhill.

I think the one in Lexington was located right off New Circle Rd.???

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN


I used to eat at that Chi Chi's when I was little kid. Loved the chimichanga smothered in queso. Tumbleweeds was another good Mexican spot in Lexington.

Recently I visited Lexington to see my sister and we went to La Favorita, a taqueria inside a little Mexican grocery store. It could open up out here in Austin and make good money. Real deal Mexican food.

http://www.tripadvisor.co...exington_Kentucky.html

Tumbleweed Southwest Grill is actually owned by the same entity as the existing Chi-Chi's that are overseas now. That's why the theme song on the commercial for Tumbleweed in the US and Chi-Chi's overseas is the same song ("The Whisper" by Sedona). I loved Chi-Chi's when it was open in the US and I agree that there should be a tribute page. Sorry for those who didn't enjoy the food or atmosphere but I did!!!
 
post edited by IntelligentT82 - 2012/07/21 15:04:59